When it comes to women hitting the gym, we often tend to stick to the cardio and aerobic sections and not go anywhere near the weight section where all the guys hang out. Maybe it is because you are intimidated by the weight section, or all the guys in it, but if it is because you don’t think there is any value in weight training, you are sadly mistaken. Weight training is essential if you are looking to achieve a lean and toned physique. Not only that, training heavy is the way to do it.

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I DON’T WANT TO GET BIG


When girls in the gym ask my advice on how to get toned, I always suggest lifting heavy. The common response to this is ‘but I don’t want to get big’. I am not sure where this myth perpetuated from but ladies…listen up! Lifting heavy won’t cause you to grow into the Hulk. That ‘slender and toned look’ you want to achieve is actually created from muscle definition and shape. This means that in order to achieve this, we need to build more muscle and lower our body fat percentage.


Another reason that we, as woman, won’t develop large amounts of lean muscle mass is that we simply don’t have enough testosterone in our bodies. Testosterone is the hormone responsible for protein synthesis and muscular development. Although woman do have small amounts of testosterone, we don’t have near as much as men. We have about 10x less in fact. The female bodybuilders you see with bulging biceps often use hormone therapy to boost their testosterone levels in order to achieve this level of muscle growth. So ladies, don’t worry about this happening to you!


BUT I WANT TO WEIGH 55KGS

Weight on the scale is a common way in which woman gauge whether they are thin or overweight. But ladies, let me let you in on a little secret, weight has nothing to do with whether you are toned or not. Think about it, you get a number of emaciated models who are close on 6 foot tall and weigh 45Kgs but are stick thin and don’t look great at all. What does make a difference to your physique is muscle mass. As discussed above, this is what gives you shape and definition. Additionally, having added muscle mass increases your metabolism and therefore helps burn more calories, even at rest, which leads to fat loss. Strength training is proven to burn far more calories than a cardio workout.


Muscle weighs more than fat, it doesn’t matter what the scale says. Rather concentrate on lowering body fat percentage as opposed to lowering scale weight.



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I’M SCARED TO HURT MYSELF WITH HEAVY WEIGHTS

This is obviously a possibility but this could happen in any area of the gym whether it be pulling a muscle while doing pilates or twisting an ankle as you run on the treadmill. However, if you weight train with the correct form, you are more likely to help prevent injury than to cause it as it increases bone mineral density, increases size and strength of ligaments and aids in the maintenance and optimization of our muscles functional ability.


So ladies, I strongly suggest hitting the weights hard next time you are in the gym. If you don’t know what you are doing, make use of a personal trainer or instructor from the gym. Alternatively, check out CHROME’s training, nutrition and supplementation guides for all the tips and tricks you need to get that lean, mean body you have always wanted.



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